Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry/Raspberry Buttercream

Here's a little secret: I use cupcakes to woo boys and make friends.  I know, it may seem a little shady and unsavory, but hey, I'm in a new city!  Cut me a break!

I actually made these cupcakes a long time (read: 3 weeks) ago.  Soon after moving to Seattle, I went to a rooftop BBQ in Belltown (downtown Seattle) because my roommate and a friend Nick knew the people who were hosting through some other people.  Sorry, let me clarify.  A friend of a friend of a friend was hosting a BBQ.  Clear?  No?  Moving on… Anyways, we chatted and hot tubbed and swore to meet up again.  Cut to two weeks later, I go out on a Friday night in Capitol Hill with about 5 of the people I met at the BBQ.  More merriness ensued, we exchanged numbers, discovered that we were all new to Seattle and wanted friends!  That Sunday we all got together for a game/"make your own pizza" night and thus the cupcakes were born!!! (Along with some sourdough pizza, but more on that later)

This is another successful recipe procured from my "More from Magnolia" cookbook that I picked up when I was in New York City this year.  Not only is it an amazing cookbook, it is also incredibly ironic that it is my new "go to" cookbook because I live in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.  Spooky!!  The actual cupcake is incredibly fluffy and moist with a strong vanilla flavor.  When baking, then don't form too much of a dome but just enough that they are a perfect  canvas for decorating.

Now the buttercream.  It's my forte, there is no skirting around that.  Earlier in the year I found out that I am pretty good at making buttercreams in most flavor combinations just off the top of my head.  I know, it's a gift, or what four years (or the baking induced "stress relieving" nights) at the University of Michigan taught me.  Recently I've been on a fresh fruit buttercream kick.  This results in a more naturally sweet buttercream (but don't discount the powdered sugar, there is still plenty of that) and I usually use less butter to achieve my desired consistency.  So maybe I can sell this buttercream off as "health food?"  Anyways, for this buttercream I used a combination of strawberries and raspberries.  While these fruits are both wonderful, they also have 'seeds' and must be smushed through a strainer before being beaten into buttercream.

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from: More from Magnolia
  • 2 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I also used a vanilla bean, but that is completely optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream (preferably with an electric mixer) the butter until smooth and light yellow in color.  Gradually beat in the sugar until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.  Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.  This is key: after each addition, make sure to beat enough to incorporate the ingredients, but do not overbeat.  (This will create gluten and you will have rough and dry cupcakes)
  5. Using a spring loaded ice cream scoop (or other preferred dispensing method), carefully dispense the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester is inserted into the center of the cupcake and comes out clean.

Strawberry/Raspberry Buttercream
  • 1 cup strawberries, cored and halved
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (approx).
  1. Puree strawberries and raspberries in a food processor until smooth.  Smush through a large strainer into a bowl.  Add softened butter and vanilla extract, beat until well incorporated.
  2. Add powdered sugar slowly, about 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached (needs to be thicker for piping).
  3. Can be stored in a air tight container in a refrigerator for up to a week.


Stevie said...

They look and sound delicious! I'm not a huge chocolate fan, so this is definitely something I'll have to try. Or you can just make them for me. ;-)

Rose White said...

I am a chocolate girl and I choose to eat chocolate cup cakes and cookies than vanilla flavored. Maybe this is the time to bake some vanilla cupcakes since my kids have been sick of too much chocolate for their snack time. Lol. Thanks for the recipe. They will surely love this.

Melanie Big said...

Yummy! Strawberry flavored frosting is my favorite especially when it’s been put on some cupcakes. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. Maybe I can woo my hubby for this recipe of yours. Lol.

sarah said...

This was a good recipe, but you really need to indicate how many cupcakes it makes. I liked that this recipe only called for one stick of butter instead of two so I assumed it would make 12 cupcakes. After filling my very large muffin tin, I had enough batter left over for a whole other cake. Mine also burnt a bit on the bottom so next time I'll try a few minutes less.

Katherine Martin said...

Sarah - I'm sorry you had issues with the cupcakes. Generally, unless otherwise noted, most cupcake recipes on my blog make two full cupcake pans (around 24 cupcakes, give or take). I have a wonderful recipe for a "small batch" of vanilla cupcakes on my site, if you're interested.

Where is you position your rack in the oven and what sort of oven did you use? If you used two 6-cup pans and one of one the bottom and you use an electric oven, that would explain why they're burnt. It also has a lot to do with that type of cupcake pan you're using and what materials were used in its construction.


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